HYT H0 Orange
Hands-on: Angus Davies gets ‘hands-on’ with the HYT H0 Orange
Clubs, by their very definition, are exclusive. To join a club one has to have a talent, experience or pecuniary means. The ultra high-end super-watch owners club is an elite society necessitating sufficient fiscal freedom to acquire the latest horological wonder.
I have never hidden my love of HYT timepieces, but I concede these über-complicated watches command seriously hefty sums and justifiably so. However, the Swiss watch brand from Neuchâtel has now unveiled its most accessible watch, the H0.
The HYT H0 is available in three variants: black, silver and orange. It is the latter version which I got to handle recently and I can report it is a stunner, and is probably my favourite pump-action watch from HYT.
In common with other HYT models, the hours are denoted by the meniscus formed between two liquids held within a glass capillary. In this instance, the coloured liquid is black while the other liquid is colourless. The chemistry required to keep both liquids stable is not inconsequential. Indeed, the boffins at HYT have had to pay due consideration to UV-light, temperature, the adhesion of liquids to the walls of the capillary as well as a myriad of other factors. The numerous technical implications are discussed in length in my article ‘Behind the scenes with Preciflex’.
The H0 looks unlike any other HYT model. The sapphire crystal is dome-like in nature, enveloping both the dial plane and sides. The hours are shown on the upper dial surface as well as around the sides in a 24-hour format.
Where other HYT models partly cover the capillary near 6 o’clock, the H0 freely discloses the glass tube. Personally, I love seeing the curved profile of the capillary at this point and feel it adds to the aesthetic.
The bellows pumps are partly visible via two apertures rather than being fully exposed as per the H1 and H2 models. There is a part of me which wonders what an H0 with exposed bellows pumps would look like but nevertheless, I do like the vista presented.
A small seconds display is positioned between 9 and 10 o’clock, while the main minutes display is positioned beneath noon. Located between 2 and 3 o’clock is a power reserve indicator, proffering a degree of symmetry with the aforementioned small seconds display.
While I am a devotee of HYT and adore the H1 and H2 models, the H0 seems so much cleaner and easier to interpret. Moreover, the sapphire crystal is delightful.
The H0 is a large watch measuring 48.8mm in diameter with a case thickness of 17.9mm. While these dimensions may appear colossal, there are no lugs, causing the trajectory of the strap to head south and envelope the wrist.
I found wearer comfort to be exceptional despite the notable girth of the watch, reinforcing the wisdom of forgoing lugs.
The H0 redefines the case architecture of a wristwatch. The sapphire crystal arcs downwards, creating a sapphire case-band on the vertical flanks of the timepiece. Beneath the vertical surface of the sapphire crystal, the case-band steps out and is formed in two parts. The case has an endearing simplicity to its form but I suspect it is probably more complex than it appears.
The movement is revealed via an exhibition case back.
Interestingly, the H0 is powered by the same HYT Calibre 101 as the HYT H1 models. Firstly, this movement is tried and tested and needs little explanation, I have discussed it at length in previous articles.
Secondly, the Calibre 101, despite its modernity, does not sidestep traditional watchmaking craft. The bridges are adorned with Côtes de Genève motif and feature gleaming bevels while the wheels are circular grained. Indeed, this is a beautifully appointed movement.
As stated earlier, the H0 is my favourite HYT model to date. It is its seeming simplicity that enchants me.
The fabulous sapphire crystal envelopes the dial and the upper portion of the case. I suspect the complex shape of the sapphire crystal presented numerous technical challenges, but HYT, with its notable creativity and impressive know-how, has, once again, shown it can utilise all the grey cells at its disposal to deliver another great timepiece.
The movement is a known quantity having served the brand well to date, initially being used in the company’s inaugural model, the H1.
At $39,000, the H0 is not a cheap watch, but the price is significantly less than other HYT models to date making entry to the ultra high-end super-watch owners club far more attainable.
• Model: HYT H0 Orange
• Case: Titanium; diameter 48.8mm; height 17.9mm; water resistant to 3 bar (30 metres); sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
• Functions: Hours; minutes; small seconds; power-reserve indicator.
• Movement: HYT Calibre 101; Hand-wound movement; frequency 28,800 VpH (4Hz); 35 jewels; power reserve 65 hours.
• Strap: Rubber strap with titanium buckle.
• Price: $39,000 (RRP as at 2.8.2017)